News and Events

What is the Cost of Tobacco?
November 30, 2015

VERO BEACH – This quarter Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) learned tobacco use is the most preventable cause of death in the nation. Used as intended, tobacco is addictive and kills more people annually than murders, suicides, and accidents combined. Second hand smoke (SHS) is also deadly. There is no safe level of SHS and it kills nearly 50,000 people a year. 

Oslo Middle School students also wanted to know “What is the cost in dollars and cents?” What would the money spent on tobacco be able to buy instead?

Cost of Tobacco

In November Oslo Middle SWAT discovered the real cost of tobacco addiction.  Pictured is 8th grader, Isabella Sterke acting as scribe while the group discussed the price of buying a pack of cigarettes at an average cost of $5 per pack. Students were shocked to see how quickly $5 adds up when 1 or 2 packs a day are smoked. Smoking one pack a day over 10 days could buy a good pair of $50 tennis shoes! Over a year, two packs a day adds up to $3,650 and in ten years two packs a day adds up to $36,500 or enough to buy an SUV. If two people in the home smoke, the costs go up! Students concluded tobacco use is a huge waste of money. The money spent on tobacco could be used for shoes, clothes, video games, TVs, and a lot of fun activities.

SWAT is Florida’s statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate, and equip Florida’s youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. SWAT is a united movement of empowered youth working toward a tobacco free future.

SWAT youth plan and achieve anti-tobacco activities in each of Florida’s 67 counties every year. It is a youth led organization representing students statewide. Every month SWAT clubs all over Florida meet through conference call and exchange ideas that will further de-glamourize the tobacco industry. To find out more about how you can join or support SWAT go to